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I'm in the process of buying a new car. I've narrowed my choices down to a V50 or a Subaru Outback XT. For the V50 owners out there, what were your deciding factors to purchase a V50? What are you most happy with, and has there been anything that has ever made you question your decision? And if anyone of you also considered an Outback when you made your purchase, why did you choose a V50 over an Outback? Thanks.
 

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Re: V50 Opinions Please (considering_a_v50)

I've had my V50(AWD 6 speed) since March. It has 16000km on it, and I have driven it from Northern BC to Southern California. I love it. It looks great, looks unique, drives like a dream, comfortable for hours on end, great stereo, great engine, not much to argue with in a V50. <p>NOW, that out of the way, I have spent much of August driving a V70, and now an S60. Why? LOTS of problems with mine. Some niggly, some major(new clutch went in it last week). I don't believe my car is a great representation of the typical V50 though. They all seem to have a few small problems, but mine has ALL the usual problems, along with many more. I still love the car, just want it to work.<p>I looked a Subaru when I bought my car(Legacy GT wagon), but the thing that bothered me with the Subi was build quality, and fit and finish. Felt cheap, seats sucked, shofter was a joke, paint was awful, etc. I've been driving BMW for years, and now the V50. As far as the Japanese cars go, they have come a long way, but they still fall far behind the Europeans in building "nice" cars. Subaru can't compete with Volvo in that area.<p>Bottom line, despite having many problems with my V50, I don't regret the purchase for a second. Great car, and once sorted, it will give me a lifetime of great service.<p>Buy the V50, you won't regret it.<p> Al
 

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I am also in the market for a new wagon and have considered a V50, VW Passant and Subaru Outback. I may have to delete the V50 from my list of vehicles due to reliability issues. It seems like Volvo has taken a "clue" from Microsoft and is letting the consumers test drive the product and report back on the problems. I find this unacceptable. How can Volvo let this occur when they have a long history of throughly exploring the safety aspects of their automobiles. Can't they do the same with reliability issues? Is this just a flawed product (V50) that Volvo has and maybe the best solution is to terminate it. <br>Subaru? I know several peers that have had these with very good reliability. However, the highway gas milage is not as good as my present 11 year old Sable wagon and this may be a reflection of Subaru's not so good aerodynamic shape. As for now, I will continue driving my trusty 11 year wagon until I find something that I am totally comfortable with.
 

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Re: (billyk24)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>billyk24</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I may have to delete the V50 from my list of vehicles due to reliability issues. It seems like Volvo has taken a "clue" from Microsoft and is letting the consumers test drive the product and report back on the problems. I find this unacceptable. How can Volvo let this occur when they have a long history of throughly exploring the safety aspects of their automobiles. Can't they do the same with reliability issues? Is this just a flawed product (V50) that Volvo has and maybe the best solution is to terminate it. <br></TD></TR></TABLE><p>While it is clearly your decision to make, I am not sure that what we see here at Swedespeed is truly representative of the overall S40/V50 owners experience. We have a bunch of members here that found the site because they had a problem they wanted help with and only ever posted about that/those problem(s). Most people who are happy with their car don't bother jumping onto a website to tell strangers they're happy.<p>I had my share of issues at the start of my ownership and sometimes thought 'enough is enough' but it has settled down and I do get to enjoy the V50 experience every day I drive it which I wouldn't swap in a heartbeat for a car that was more reliable (i.e. didn't have niggly issues) but didn't have the solidity, safety and (imho) style that mine does.<p>UKMatt
 

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Re: V50 Opinions Please (considering_a_v50)

I have just ordered a new V50 2.0D, due for mid-October delivery.<p>I chose it over a somewhat larger Skoda Octavia. I test drove both for full weekends. My reasons for buying the V50:<p>The driving experience was the most pleasant. The seats are the most comfortable I have sat in -- drove for hours with no aches -- only comfort. This was high on my list. Also, it had a much quieter cabin -- less road and wind noise made for a more calming driving experience. Better stereo system, which sounded better in the quieter cabin. Tons of safety engineered in the design. Economical and powerful diesel motor with little turbo lag (unlike Skoda). And finally, more style and class. <p>Also, I live in Europe and my Volvo owner friends swear they are never stolen -- whereas Skodas disappear all the time because of the demand for their common VW parts.<p>Reasons against a V50: Smaller back seat and cargo, less rear visibility, less storage space, expensive to maintain, higher insurance. Now, I am reading about some reliability issues (especially about the A/C) -- which I am hoping will not affect my car with its later build.
 

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Just look at my signature to see what kind of issues I've had with my V50. The main attributes of the car "quietness, build quality premium feel" have been so compromised by the issues that its overwhemed any positives. 11 months and counting to Volvo gets this boarderline lemon back. Making it worse is the service dept's inability to fix issues and its the only one around.<p>I'm not a fan of the oputback. I personally don't see the point of the extra $ for the slight ground clearance and "suv" trim. It doesn't amake a good V50 (which is smaller and more sporty)<p>No not ALL V50s have the same issues as mione but many (likley the majority) have some issues that should not be present in a car of this calss. <p>test drive one and if you really LOVE the way it drives buy one. but you better love it enough to overlook the issues and quirks. If you don't LOVE it better buy something else .
 

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Re: (Toolatecrew)

I had it down to a european wagon, I liked the A4 wagon as well as the 04 Jetta/Bora wagon , then I waited and got neither because 05 came around and those cars got ugly noses. always liked the V40 T4 but was always disappointed that I couldn't get a us spec model with a manual trans. 05 was the same year I could get volvos small wagon (us spec) with manual, plus I thought its 5 cyl engine is a little unique. add that to a tuned up Volvo and not every Joe , Jose or Johann has one, was what made me buy mine.
 

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Re: (Toolatecrew)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Toolatecrew</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Just look at my signature to see what kind of issues I've had with my V50. </TD></TR></TABLE><p>Wow - have you tried a different dealer? There are of course common issues that happen with this vehicle but to list so many 'retries' by the dealership attempting to fix the same issues.<p>Cheers<br>UKMatt
 

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Re: (billyk24)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>billyk24</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">It seems like Volvo has taken a "clue" from Microsoft and is letting the consumers test drive the product and report back on the problems. I find this unacceptable. How can Volvo let this occur when they have a long history of throughly exploring the safety aspects of their automobiles. Can't they do the same with reliability issues? Is this just a flawed product (V50) that Volvo has and maybe the best solution is to terminate it.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>To my knowledge, there have not been rampant issues with failures of the safety features. Volvo's still remain some of the safest and most reliable cars with respect to their safety systems. All other stuff notwithstanding.<p>FYI, I bought my V50 based on the looks, engine, and rarity. Issues I've had are minor and to be expected with any new vehicle introduction. No auto manufacturer is perfect.
 

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Re: (rodlentino)

As it turns out, we have an Outback (2.5, 4-cylinder, not turbo) from 2003 as our “family wagon,” and a V50 as a smaller usable vehicle. I do gigs with a full-sized digital piano, so I could not settle for a sedan or small hatchback. The V50 fits an amazing amount of stuff when the seats are down. <p>The Outback is a great vehicle, but it’s a bore to drive. The AWD is great in terms of utility, but it’s less efficient – an older kind of technology from what I can tell. The gas mileage is worse. The car is solid compared to, for example, an Chevy Cavalier, but is not precise and spritely like the Volvo is.<p>I had tried a Subaru WRX on two different occasions, first the older 2.0 Turbo then the newer 2.5 Turbo. The 2.5 Turbo had a huge amount of lag (natural result of larger turbo unit???). Originally, I thought for sure I would get a Subaru WRX because a) it was a small wagon, b) we liked our Outback, c) it was reasonably affordable for the power it delivered, d) it had AWD. In the end, the shifter was crappy, the turbo boost had way too much lag, the interior was really chincey for not THAT much cheaper than the Volvo (which has lots of safety features for the extra money), and – here’s the kicker – I thought the steering and overall handling was pretty weak. Sluggish steering, squealing tires, etc. Of course the handling can be improved a bit with a stiffer rear sway bar and better tires, but the steering in the V50/S40 was better than ALL of the competition in my opinion.<p>(So in my opinion the steering was better than TSX, Jetta GLI, A3, WRX, G35, IS300. Only the Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 had steering that was comparable – go figure since the Mazda 3 is a shared platform.)<p>People have had problems with the V50, although I wonder if they are 2005 models before production was a bit better honed??? I for one have had very little issue on my 2006 car, and frankly I EXPECT a bit of electronics mumbo jumbo from the European cars. Somehow the Japanese cars are better for “getting it right” with the electronics. I cannot deny the countless problems some folks have had. I wonder if the Subaru forums are equally full of these peccadilloes.<p>The Outback is bigger than V50, no??? considering_a_v50, Not sure what you’re really after. The V50 does come with AWD, so it can be used in ridiculous snow conditions (in fact I did this in Tahoe).<p>My further opinion: V50 has best in class seats and audio system (and steering). The interior is a bit stark depending on your taste, but I so happen to like it a LOT.<p>
 

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Re: (ukmatt)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>ukmatt</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"> Most people who are happy with their car don't bother jumping onto a website to tell strangers they're happy.<p>UKMatt</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Ok, I'll bite. I absolutely love my V50, I'm now at about 9000 kilometres, absolutely zero problems. Only one instance of the check engine light coming on for 2 days (I now believe the gas cap wasn't on tight enough) and then the light turned off.<p>I love the functionnality of a wagon. I did take a quick look at the legagy wagon (not the Outback, too much plastic cladding <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthdown.gif" BORDER="0"> ) and found the interior a bit cheap looking. And the engine sounds a bit "agricultural", so to speak.<p>So again, the V50 has been used for lots of heavy-duty hauling, and lots of fun in the summer type stuff and seeing lots of dirt-road duty. I'm very impressed! <p> <IMG SRC="http://xs305.xs.to/xs305/06352/PICT0002.JPG" BORDER="0"> <br> <IMG SRC="http://xs105.xs.to/xs105/06352/PICT0001.JPG" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: V50 Opinions Please (considering_a_v50)

Our "short list" included the following: V50 T5 AWD, Subaru Outback XT or Legacy GT wagon , Passat AWD Wagon , Mazda 6 Sportwagon, BMW 325iT.<p>BMW was out as it would have been $4-5k more than our budget..but that's sure a sweet running I-6.<p>Mazda was the least expensive, interior trim fell off during test drive..so much for Flatrock MI assembly quality ( I have had 3 other Mazdas - made in Japan). Spouse did not like the styling and it would be her primary vehicle.<p>VW's poor reputation for quality eliminated that one..leaving us between the Subarus and the Volvo.<p>Volvo "won" for us because:<p>1) OSD experience<br>2) Subaru too long for our garage (given all the stuff in the garage already!)<br>3) Preferred Volvo's styling<br>4) Volvo had a much more solid feel to the body structure<br>5) Volvo offerred free Scheduled maintenance on the '05s<p>Yes, I was a bit leary of first year model(but Subaru's were new in '05 as well) and have had some niggling issues but the dealer has addressed each one, offerred a loaner when I needed it.<p>We were headed to Norway for vacation anyway so the OSD was a really good deal for us; gave us transportation while visiting relatives and 2 free airfares (for me worth $2,400 in airfare alone). Check out the OSD forum for more feedback on that experience.<p>I'd do it the same all over again...and look forward to my next OSD experience....<p>Good luck with your decision.
 

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I was looking at both the V50 and a Legacy wagon. I test drove the V50 then went to a car show and sat in the Legacy. The feeling was it was cheaply made while the v50 felt solid and safe. I bought the v50 and haven't regreted it since.
 

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Re: (ukmatt)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>ukmatt</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><p>Wow - have you tried a different dealer? There are of course common issues that happen with this vehicle but to list so many 'retries' by the dealership attempting to fix the same issues.<p>Cheers<br>UKMatt</TD></TR></TABLE><p>There IS no other dealer. Unless I want to drive 5 hours to another Province.<p>Somehow I doubt their shuttle service would pick me up when their car is ready.<p>
 

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Re: V50 Opinions Please (considering_a_v50)

I cross shopped the Outback/Legacy turbos when I bought my XC70 in June '05 and we compared them again before submitting our OSD order for a V50 T5 AWD 6sp last spring. <p>The Subi's are good vehicles. They (and their dealers) are more mod friendly and the vehicles will probably be slightly more reliable than a Volvo over 200K miles. If put to a vote the Subaru would be the state car here in Colorado...not the state vehicle which would be a mega-SUV of some kind... but certainly the state car because they are EVERYWHERE here!<p>VS. the XC70 was no contest because we needed a family vehicle and the Cross Country was a much better choice to take our family of four skiing. Size matters and the Subi was just a bit too small.<p>VS. the V50 it was more competitive, but for us the Volvo had the better interior and the wife liked the ride a bit better. We had SAAB's before the Volvos so there may have been some Euro bias too. The deal was sealed by the two free round-trip tickets to Europe. Maybe if Subaru did a factory delivery it would be different (oh wait, they are made in Indiana, never mind!).<p>Another factor was my '92 Legacy turbo wagon the wife will never let me forget buying. It got 18 mpg on a good day, had a range of 200 miles before empty, and had a nasty habit of vapor-locking under boost on our steep I70 hills.<p>They are both fine vehicles, and you will likely be happy with either. But before you purchase take a serious look at the OSD options for Volvo. It's a real bonus and a bunch of fun!<p>Jack<p>p.s. we considered non-turbos like the BMW's, but the comparable models just don't cut it at 7,500 ft. and Audi/VW (after owning a bunch through the 70's, 80's, & 90's) are just too high maintenance IMHO.
 

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Re: (Dede)

This past Thursday, on August 24 I came to a full realization that the V50 is an amazing vehicle. I left my home in Buffalo NY to head back to school in Cincinnati Ohio. The car was packed full of my belongings, rearseats down filled up just past the rear windshield. I filled the tank in Buffalo about a mile before the highway and did not fill up again until Cincinnati. I logged 6 and 1/2 hours of driving, 427 miles (TC said I could do another 55), and 34.7 MPG. <p>I had to relieve myself in Cleveland (about half way) but I decided to see if I could go as far as the car, not thinking it would actually make it to Cincy. Needless to say it was a draw but I would not have made it another 55 miles. I LOVE this wagon!!!<p>---MTS---
 

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Re: V50 Opinions Please (considering_a_v50)

I was down to the V50, Audi A3 and A4, and the range of Subaru wagons.<p>The Subarus generally had kind of a cheap rental car feel to them and seemed thirsty and kind of expensive for their noise level and the way they drove and felt. The V50 was just the right size for me too, the Outback felt a bit too big and the Impreza/OutbackSport too small. I really wanted to like the Forester, but the one I drove was especially noisy.<p>I really liked the A3 too, but it was on the small side and you have to shell out for the V6 if you want AWD. So the Audis were more than I really wanted to pay.<p>So consider how big a car you want to drive and how many people you want to haul with their stuff. The Outback and Legacy do have a roomier back seat.<p>The overseas delivery option sealed the deal!<p>p.s. I just broke 1000 miles, no problems so far! (knock on wood...)
 

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Re: V50 Opinions Please (vizsladriver)

there have been quite a few threads comparing the S40/V50 to the subary legacy...<p>may want to also try searching.
 

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Re: V50 Opinions Please (Mistral)

Mine's a 2004.5 model, 2.0 diesel with 30k miles on it now and only 2 issues - leaking rear washer and creaky drivers seat - not exactly major faults, colleagues have had coolant issues and engine management issues on their company VW Golfs.<p>I like the comfort of the car, nice and relaxing inside (every car afterwards looks cluttered - drove a Discovery/LR3 the other day and was highly impressed by the gadget count but also somewhat intimidated by all teh buttons!) <p>Not teh bigets of load carriers but will fit some suprisingly large loads in easily. <p>Very well built and thought out and handles nicely.<p>Only downside I have is the main delaer service costs - I may do it myself once warranty is out of the way.
 
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